UConn has fired head football coach Paul Pasqualoni after Week 5, the school has confirmed (as originally reported by Hartford Courant beat writer Desmond Conner). This follows an 0-4 start that's included losses to the MAC's Buffalo and the FCS' Towson, all after two straight 5-7 seasons without bowl trips.
UConn will name an interim at 4 p.m. ET. It won't be associate head coach George DeLeone, as he's gone too. Defensive coordinator Hank Hughes is considered the leading candidate. UConn does have a pretty good defense, for what it's worth.
A statement by athletic director Warde Manuel:
I am making this change in our football coaching staff now as we approach the conference season to see an improved performance from our football program. I am disappointed in the record of our team thus far, but I am confident that our coaching staff and student-athletes will continue to work hard to improve and that will be reflected on the field of play as we start our American Athletic Conference season.
Pasqualoni follows USC's Lane Kiffin as the second coach to be fired this college football season.
Before coming to Connecticut, Pasqualoni was the long-time head coach at Syracuse, where he went 107-59-1 and won six bowl games. After being fired in 2004, Pasqualoni was replaced by Greg Robinson -- now defensive coordinator at Texas -- who led the Orange to their worst record in 117 seasons with a 1-10 campaign.
Pasqualoni then moved onto the NFL for several years, serving as a tight ends and linebackers coach for the Cowboys, before taking a position as defensive coordinator for the Dolphins in 2008 and 2009. He would return to Dallas as a defensive line coach in 2010.
Connecticut hired Pasqualoni before the 2011 season. However, he didn't quite have the impact anyone would have hoped for -- the Huskies finished with identical 5-7 records in both 2011 and 2012, near the bottom of the Big East each time. Pasqualoni finished 10-18 in his time at Connecticut.
How do you feel about this, UConn fans?
YES. YES. LET THE HEALING BEGIN.— TheUConnBlog (@TheUConnBlog) September 30, 2013